If you are anything like me, when you think of tomato soup the first thing that comes to mind is the red and white can of condensed Campbell’s. For years it was the only tomato soup I tried.
I have many fond memories of the bright red, gelatinous, soup mixing with milk on the stove. One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is a buttery grilled cheese sandwich with a warm bowl of tomato soup to dip it in. There isn’t much better than that on a crisp fall day.
Tomato soup was also my go-to meal when the power was out; we had a gas stove that we could light manually, and it was one of the fastest things to heat up.
To be honest, growing up I didn’t really think it was possible to make tomato soup from scratch. It seemed impossible in my young mind to transition from a whole, fleshy (with skin and seeds) tomato to the smooth, rich, flavor of creamy tomato soup.
When I did learn that you could make tomato soup from scratch, I was still intimidated to try it on my own. I was afraid that my Campbell’s loving palate wouldn’t be able to transition to homemade. Plus, all the recipes I found called for a cook time of about an hour! Why would I want to spend all afternoon boiling soup when the can was so much faster?
But we had a fridge FULL of tomatoes begging to be used. So, I finally decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at making fresh tomato soup.
Boy, am I glad I did.
Not only was this recipe quick and easy, it also might be best tomato soup I’ve tried. And no, I’m not just saying that.
Here's our tomato soup recipe video:
The original recipe called for fresh tomatoes, which we had in abundance from our CSA. However, if you don’t have a garden surplus or a CSA bounty, and 3lbs of fresh tomatoes is out of your budget, then substituting the canned variety would not be a problem. It would probably alter the flavor a little, but I don’t think it would be any less delicious.
The recipe also called for the addition of cream at the end, which we omitted and replaced with cheddar cheese. So, if you’re looking for a creamy tomato soup recipe, don’t be afraid to stir some in. I might try the creamy version next time (and there definitely will be a next time!) just to mix it up.
Quick (and Easy) Tomato Soup Recipe
- 3 lbs fresh tomatoes (any variety); washed and coarsely chopped.
- Leave the skin and seeds in the mix
- 1 large onion, finely chopped.
- You can use white, yellow, or red since they all taste similar when cooked.
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh chopped)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 / 4 tsp pepper
- 1 / 2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or even just water
- Optional: 3 / 4 cup cream or milk
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker until it is melted and just starting to bubble.
2. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent - about 5 minutes
3. Add in the remaining ingredients: tomatoes (with any juice), salt, pepper, thyme, and stock. Mix well.
4. Bring to pressure on high heat, and then reduce the temperature to the lowest possible setting to maintain pressure. Cook for 15 minutes.
5. After 15 minutes, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. If the pressure hasn’t dropped after this time then finish with the quick release method to open the lid.
6. Now comes the hardest part: blending the soup. We happened to have an immersion blender that we got as a gift many years back, and this was the first time we used it. The immersion blender worked really well, but if you don’t have one then you could ladle the soup into a regular blender or food processor and mix it up that way. Just be sure to do smaller batches to minimize the risk of splashing.
You should end up with a pretty smooth and tasty looking soup. If you wanted it really smooth (like Campbell’s) you could run it through a food mill or strainer to get rid of any remaining unblended bits. We found the texture to be fine without that step.
If you wanted to make it a creamy tomato soup, simply stir in 3 / 4 cup cream at the end.
Top with your favorite tomato soup accompaniments. We used basil and sharp cheddar cheese.
And there you have it: easy tomato soup, using fresh tomatoes, and cooked in under half an hour.
Thanks for reading.
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